Thursday, September 22, 2011
The Lord’s Church Vs LDS Inc.
One of the many undocumented anecdotes that I’ve heard as a member of the church can be told like this: One time while President Gordon B. Hinckley was attending a religious conference where leaders of many faiths had gathered. President Hinckley declared that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth. One commenter said, “That’s arrogant!” To wit, Hinckley replied, “I did not say it. The Lord said it. I am only quoting it.” While the source of this story is currently unknown, or if it even exists, it brings up the point that members of the LDS church stress time and time again: We are the Lord’s church. What they fail to realize is the established LDS Inc. in reality is not the Lord’s church.
The Lord’s Church is not an Established (Man-made) Religion
The scripture that any member will cite is D&C 1:30, which states, “And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—”
Here the Lord is talking to His church, and calling it the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth. This is a quick and simple statement, right? Wrong! All-too many members interpret “the church” in this verse as the actual religious entity that holds the title of “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” but the first indication that the Lord is referring to something else lies in the final fragment of the verse, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—“. “The Church” as a title is an individual reference. So is the Lord talking about the collection of stakes and wards that the whole church consists of, or is he talking about the collection of all of the individual members?
To find that answer we go to D&C 10:67, “Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.” Not only does this clarify that the Lord’s definition of “the church” refers to all those who have repented and been baptized, but this verse is also a second witness to the doctrine taught by the resurrected Jesus Christ to Nephi, son of Nephi, in 3 Nephi 11 and repeated three times before Nephi is commanded to declare those same words to the people.
Looking further back in the Book of Mormon for more examples, we can see at least three different incarnations of a church dedicated to the Lord: First was simply living the covenant made to Nephi wherein the Nephites would be spared and prosper if they kept the commandments and lived righteously; Nephi ordained priests and teachers while the Lord spoke to prophets, but the kings were looked up to as the spiritual leaders and this pattern continued on through the reigns of Kings Benjamin and Noah—they were the last “presidents” of the church with the primary difference that Mosiah was a righteous king and Noah was not. The second church was the one established by Alma the Elder- called the Church of God- that introduced baptism as a covenant for the remission of sins and as a means for the believers to take the name of Christ upon them; This church existed up until the appearance of the Savior on the American continent, but it wasn’t always a righteous group of people as numerous accounts in the Book of Mormon declare that, when the members became proud, they were more wicked than the unbelievers. The final church established in the Nephite history- that also died with the civilization- was the one established by Jesus Christ when He called twelve disciples and had everyone re-baptized as part of their covenant to no longer live the Law of Moses and instead live the spirit of the law as taught by Christ.
At the Savior’s Second Coming (when he appeared in power and great glory in America), He established a new covenant that required everyone to be re-baptized.
In all three of these cases we see that none of them were considered the same as today’s type of “church,” because all three of them were considered as the collective groups of the believers and the names referred to those groups of believers rather than the church as its own entity. We also know from the Book of Mormon that all three of these churches eventually fell away or were replaced due to changing circumstances or because they had completed their purpose. The first of the three churches was most susceptible to having the worst negative influences on the people because of the potential example set by the king, or church president. Abinadi declared that King Noah would be a type and shadow of that which would come to pass in the last days. Noah and his priests influenced an entire generation of Nephites to the point where they believed everything that Noah told them was good and that Noah himself could do no wrong, as they believed he was a righteous man because of his position. This is one of the reasons why Mosiah refused to get involved with the affairs of the church when Alma had trouble with those who wouldn’t repent. Even after Mosiah’s death and the beginning of the Nephite Republic via the reign of the judges, the positions of chief judge for the government and high priest for the church were declared separate duties.
Each of these churches also had their own hierarchies, but there are two cases in the Book of Mormon wherein the people were so wicked that the Lord needed to call a prophet from outside of the established hierarchy. Noah and his priests were leading the people so far astray that the Lord called Abinadi to preach repentance and warn the people that the situation will repeat itself in the future. And prior to the birth of Christ, the Nephites were so unrighteous that Samuel the Lamanite had to be called to remind the Nephites that the Lamanites were becoming far more righteous. Samuel’s calling was such a shock to the system that Nephi II didn’t even write down Samuel’s prophesies until the resurrected Jesus Christ asked him about it. The Lord will do the same and call someone from outside of the hierarchy today as prophesied.
This need for a cleansing of the Lord’s House is especially true since-
The LDS Church has Fallen out of God’s Favor
The reason why church members today claim that the LDS church is the Lord’s church is because of a non-existent promise that the church would never fall away now that it was been restored. This statement is nowhere to be found in the scriptures and is a complete misrepresentation of the blessing that John the Baptist gave to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery when he restored and gave them the Aaronic Priesthood. D&C Section 13 reads in whole, “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness” (Emphasis added). What will never be taken again from the earth? The priesthood! It is entirely possible for the priesthood to exist- and be conferred as well as exercised- without the church!
Has the Lord warned the members of the church that they’re in danger of falling away? Absolutely! The very first warning occurred as early as 1832 when the Lord warned in D&C 84:54-58: “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.” (Emphasis added.)
Ezra Taft Benson reminded the church of this condemnation in his famous talk on pride in 1989, but the condemnation has yet to be rescinded for the same reason as to why it was given in the first place. And this is only the beginning: The warnings given by the Lord to the members range from Him chastising them for their sins in the first portion of Section 101 to the declaration that the church as a whole would be rejected if the saints didn’t hustle and get the Nauvoo temple built in time based on God’s schedule. The entire covenant between the collective church members and God is found in D&C 82:10, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise”.
We already know from these examples that the church is not immune from falling away, but what about the things it has done which took it out of God’s favor completely? Looking back at D&C 10:67 and 3 Nephi 11, we know that the Lord asks only for repentance and baptism. D&C 10:68 says, “Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church,” while 3 Nephi 11:40 says, “And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock;”. Since repentance and baptism are the only necessities, why does the church claim that our salvation also rests on the men receiving the Melchizedek priesthood (and, in some cases, serve a full-time mission), receiving endowments and making covenants in the temple, being married in the temple and having children, and even practicing plural marriage? This easily falls under the realm of declaring more than what the Lord has taught.
The Lord warns the church about all of this and more in D&C 124:48, “For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practise before me, saith the Lord.” What are some of these follies and abominations? The practice of polygamy- Jacob declared it to be an abomination before the Lord, no matter who practices it, and Jacob 2:30 is not a verse wherein the Lord will “authorize” polygamy and the practice was only “officially” halted in 1890 under political pressure. Altering the temple ordinances from what took place in Kirtland to the Masonic ordinances with secret signs, tokens and blood oaths that take place in the temples today- see D&C 124:47. Altering the Book of Mormon, making 3,000 changes alone in the second (1837) edition- including altering the identity of God- when the Lord had not authorized any such thing. Denying the priesthood to women and blacks when both groups received it initially after the restoration, and it has only been returned to blacks under more political pressure while still denied to women. Not only allowing the infiltration of, but also creating its own secret combinations with the creation of the Danites and Council of Fifty. Pride as warned by the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and President Benson. And idolatry as members practically worship the leaders but, even worse, those who go through the temple consecrate everything to the established church (as an entity) and not to God- meaning they must put “the church” as their highest loyalty and nothing else, lest they “suffer their life to be taken.” All of these topics easily warrant their own posts so won’t go into greater detail on them at this time.
What I do want to focus on for the remainder of this segment refers back to the type and shadow of how King Noah led that group of Nephites astray for an entire generation. The position of the president of the church calling the shots with twelve apostles who claim, “When the brethren speak, the thinking has been done,” is exactly parallel with the King and his twelve high priests who taught what they claimed would bring salvation while the people became complacent in their situation and, in that case, wickedness. Because of the warning behind King Noah’s situation and the example set by the Savior when establishing his church in the holy land, there was never supposed to be a “king” or “president of the church” in either the original or the restored church.
When Jesus Christ ordained twelve apostles, he gave them all a collective authority that became equal to his own as head of the church. Believers will claim that Peter became the first pope, prophet, or president of the church, but that contradicts one of the later teachings by the apostle Paul when he declared an apostle to be greater than a prophet in 1 Corinthians 12:28. As one of the twelve, was Peter the only one who could receive revelation or perform miracles? He was not as recorded by the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. This is further evidenced by the fact that when the resurrected Jesus Christ called twelve disciples in America, none of them were appointed as a “head” figure.
Was Joseph Smith called to become president of the church? No. We learn in the Doctrine and Covenants that he, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were called as apostles after the establishment of the legal church in 1830, but for whatever reason none of them accepted the calling and Joseph instead became the king/prophet. While the Lord allowed Joseph to do this because of free agency (which is why He recognized the existence of the first presidency), He never once in the scriptures declared Joseph to be a prophet. The Lord called Joseph an apostle, a servant, and even a friend but never “my prophet.”
When Joseph Smith died in 1844, the church faced its biggest crisis in terms of succession. This weighed extremely heavily on apostle Parley P. Pratt so much that, during his return to Nauvoo, he prayed for guidance and received this revelation on July 1st, 1844 as quoted from his autobiography, page 294 of the 2007 edition: “My servant Joseph still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation… and make no movement in Church government to reorganize or alter anything until the return of the Quorum of the Twelve.” Since Joseph still held the keys of the restoration for the remained of the dispensation, he was still in charge and the Twelve Apostles were to run the spiritual affairs of the church as a group just as the Lord had originally intended. This did happen for a few years and ended when Brigham Young established himself as president of the church and created a new first presidency. (On a side note, it’s interesting to mention that Parley P. Pratt was the only original apostle in this dispensation who remained an apostle until his death. All of the others either got excommunicated or became part of the first presidency.)
The other major problem with the notion of having a “king” rule over the church, and repeating the parallel of King Noah, is the infamous declaration that “the prophet will never lead the church astray.” This statement has been the most damaging idea and the greatest stumbling block introduced to the church for well over 120 years as of 2011. Even if a man is a prophet, he is still a man who has free agency and can very easily fall if he succumbs to sin. A church member will claim that the prophet will be struck down if he leads the church astray, but that implies that the prophet will be killed then and there without giving him a chance to repent. When a fallen prophet is struck down, he is cut off from the spirit and dies a spiritual death unless he repents.
Very few presidents of the church have ever agreed on gospel topics and numerous factions supporting one president over another have existed during all of the church’s history. The succession crisis of 1844 created divisions that still haven’t mended today. The establishment of John Taylor as the 3rd president resulted from a compromise between those who followed Orson Pratt vs. Brigham Young. And even in recent times there have been the “Clark men” and the “McKay” men due to the disagreements between J. Reuben Clark and David O. McKay. If even these men who are sustained by members as prophets, seers and revelators can’t agree on what directions to take as leaders, what assurance do the members have that they aren’t being led astray?
Even Joseph Smith wasn’t immune from this problem as the Doctrine and Covenants is full of rebukes to him given by the Lord. In Section 3 alone he was chastised for fearing man more than God and received a strong warning in verse 9 that he is perfectly capable of falling from his position because of transgression. Joseph was a very strong parallel to King David: both were called by God for their pure hearts, they succeeded for a time but succumbed to their own carnal wills and desires (be it power, authority, lust, etc.), leading them to be delivered to the buffetings of Satan for a time before they sought repentance prior to their deaths.
Finally, while the canonized scriptures say nothing about a prophet never leading the people astray, the Old Testament is full of warnings of the exact opposite regarding prophets who will lead the people astray if the people aren’t careful and vigilant. This is exactly what has happened to the church today as the members are convinced that blind obedience to “the prophet” is what is going to save them. However, Joseph Smith had this to say in the Millennial Star, vol. 14 #38, pages 593-95: “And none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the priesthood. We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God… would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their minds to do wrong themselves.” Thus we can ask, “What is anyone who preaches ‘follow the prophet’ hiding from us?”
As we know from the scriptures, the Lord’s covenant people always have a greater responsibility because, “For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation” (D&C 82:3). This is why the Nephites were continually ripe for destruction while the Lamanites received a promise that they’d be spared because they hadn’t made the same covenant to keep the Lord’s commandments. But wait, I don’t see anything in the scriptures about joining a legally established church in order to become one of the Lord’s covenant people, so therefore-
One can be a part of the Lord’s Church without becoming a Mormon
How many readers ever considered an idea such as this before?
If we look back at D&C 10:67, the Lord defines his church as those who repent and are baptized, yet today when someone is baptized the ordinance isn’t considered “complete” until that person is confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why then didn’t the Lord say this and declare that confirmation is also required? While the church does its best to maintain and record the names of all those who have been baptized, it has forgotten a little promise made by heaven on the matter as taught by Alma in Alma 5:58, “For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand.” Are not those people who repent and accept the covenant of baptism the righteous ones whose names are written in the book of life? Heaven is keeping its own records completely independent of that which the legal church entity has on the earth.
While a freshman at BYU I once had an experience that I will never deny regardless of my feelings towards the Mormon Church because the incident fulfilled the promises made by God as one who’d been baptized and holds the priesthood. While walking to class one day I prepared to cross the street at an intersection between the student housing and the visitor parking lot. As the light turned green I prepared to step onto the crosswalk when a loud voice shouted, “Stop!” and a strong hand grabbed my shoulder to hold me back. Right after that, a speeding car going 40-50 MPH ran the red light and would have hit me head on if I’d stepped onto the road. When I turned around, nobody was behind me. An angel had saved my life because of my contract with heaven as a baptized person and a priesthood holder.
The attitude of missionary work in the early days of the church also supports this teaching. When Parley P. Pratt served a mission to Canada he healed a blind woman and restored her sight. According to page 117-118 of Parley’s autobiography, the woman’s neighbors converged upon her and claimed that his goals were just to get people to join the Mormons, but her response to that accusation fits the idea perfectly, “He said nothing to me about joining the ‘Mormons,’ but taught me the gospel, and bore testimony that God had restored its power to the earth…”. How many missionaries today even think that their primary objective should be to baptize the repentant instead of getting people to join the legal church?
After John the Baptist restored the baptismal authority, Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith became the first members of the Lord’s church as defined in D&C 10:67 when they baptized each other; meaning the church was restored before the legal church entity was established on April 6, 1830.
Finally, look back at the restoration of the Aaronic priesthood. Not only did John the Baptist declare that the priesthood wouldn’t be taken from the earth again, but the section heading says that this took place on May 15th, 1829; nearly a full year before the legal church was officially organized! This logically concludes that the restoration of the gospel, priesthood, baptism and the keys of the ministering of angels did not need the church to be restored or established first in order for them to happen. On the flip side, a righteous person can very easily leave the Mormon Church but still retain his priesthood authority and baptize repentant people for the remission of sins. The church does not have a monopoly on baptism, the priesthood and the ministering of angels. This is especially important to realize because-
The LDS Church no Longer Exists as a Legal Entity
Take a deep breath because this happened to the church not only once, but twice. The first time took place in 1887 when the legal church entity faced off against the federal government because the membership’s practicing polygamy was a complete violation of federal law, even though Utah was just a territory at the time and not yet a state. The primary spokesperson to Congress in getting the anti-polygamy laws passed and enforced was Ann Eliza Young, one of Brigham Young’s wives who divorced him and wrote a book, Wife No. 19, as an expose to just how deplorable living in a polygamous relationship was for women. The government formally dissolved the church with an act of Congress, but didn’t become final until the Supreme Court ruling on the matter in 1890. With this, the government seized the former legal entity’s assets and property.
At this time, the legal entity calling itself first the Church of Christ that Joseph Smith established in 1830 was gone, but the collective membership that had been baptized still existed. However, this did not solve the problem of the church not being able to lay claim to any of its former property. In order to regain the church’s assets, Wilford Woodruff had to compromise with the government and issued the Manifesto, declaring to the church that it needed to stop practicing polygamy. This of course was just a public statement as several members continued to openly practice polygamy until 1905 and the last church member on record to have done so was Henry Eyring in 1954. Despite that, the church managed to regain its assets and property, but did not legally exist for another 33 years.
Come November 26, 1923, President Heber J. Grant, under advice from church lawyers, re-established the legal entity as, “The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” The church was back, but not as a church; it was now a corporation wherein, under the written charter that established it, the “President” had full control and was now in power equivalent to a CEO. The line of succession for the senior apostle to become the next President formally became established under the corporate charter as well. This was a complete spit in the face of the scriptures and the revelation to Parley P. Pratt as the Twelve Apostles no longer had any kind of say in any matter. While the Twelve may be consulted for the sake of image, the President still had the full authority. This action was not done in order to re-establish the church as a legal entity, but paved the way to fulfill Nephi’s prophesy of the “most great and abominable church” in the Book of Mormon. Revelation and spiritual gifts no longer officially directed the church, but marketing and money-making initiatives. Grant did amend the charter to include any Apostle in 1940, but the corporation’s structure still was not the one established by the Lord for His church.
The documents signed by Heber J. Grant regarding the 1923 creation of and the 1940 amendment to the corporation. (Click for full view.)
While the corporation is what most members recognize as the church’s legal entity today, it doesn’t exist anymore either! On November 19, 1973, President Harold B. Lee, the head honcho and sole decision maker according to the corporate charter, signed a document to legally and officially dissolve the corporation! He died suddenly and mysteriously five weeks later, but the man who was next in line, Spencer W. Kimball, failed to reverse the decision. According to the law, the decision to dissolve the corporation needed to be reversed within 120 of the dissolution in order for it to continue existing; this reversal never happened and the church as a legal entity once again disappeared from the earth.
Documents signed by Harold B. Lee regarding the dissolution of the corporation. (Click for full view.)
Since the corporation that I often refer to as LDS Inc. no longer exists, the legal ramifications that the church will inevitably face are too severe for words. Because the corporation doesn’t exist, any money donated to it doesn’t belong to it, and yet the corporation gladly takes the money in an act of theft by deception that the leaders cannot deny! If the corporation as it “exists” today hopes to make restitution, it will have to return every dollar donated to it by members and organizations and relinquish all of its properties built after 1973 to the members. This is also just the tip of the iceberg regarding only the legal ramifications the church must face once this knowledge becomes common. Can any of you imagine what the spiritual ramifications will be? In reality, none of this should come as a surprise, because those who understand the scriptures will know-
There are Prophesies of the Secord Restoration and the Church’s Cleansing
Once again the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants act as dual witnesses to these types of prophesies. When Lehi gave his farewell address to his son Joseph, he quoted the prophesies of Joseph of Egypt, who spoke of Joseph Smith, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the gentiles who would accept it. 2 Nephi 3:24 refers to a time after the church’s restoration, “And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren”!
D&C Section 85:7-9 corroborates further: “And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. And all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth.” The one who would “steady the ark” is one who would use his leadership position to maintain the status quo once the cleansing has begun, and those who would continue to hold to his words even after drinking from the fountain of truth will be the ones who are cut off.
Now that we know that this cleansing has been prophesied and is in the beginning stages, we need to know what the actual cleansing will consist of. According to the Doctrine and Covenants, it will be a joint venture between the members and the Lord working in tandem. Section 64:38-40 states the role of the members, “For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead.” And Section 112:24-26 explains how the Lord would begin His part, “Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.” However, this prophecy was fulfilled on August 11, 1999 when a tornado touched down at and tore through downtown Salt Lake City. Eyewitnesses reported damage to the Temple Square Visitor’s Center and the then-under construction Conference Center. Other, more recent examples that can be researched online include stake centers and temples being struck by lightning as well as the burning down of the Apia Samoa Temple and the Provo Tabernacle. I’m sure more research will unearth even more examples from the past ten years.
This painting miraculously survived the Provo Tabernacle fire.
The Lord’s actions to prompt the cleansing of the church are also taking shape in situations other than physical signs as the general attitude towards the church by non-members is beginning to shift back towards the negative. That is to say, the church is again losing favor in the eyes of the world after Gordon Hinckley spent his tenure as President trying to improve the church’s image. In the past year alone, foreign missionaries have been uninvited from preaching in Switzerland while those who are preaching in England are now restricted from preaching on buses with other public venues likely to follow while the London temple lost its tax exempt status for not being a true public place of worship. And while the church is pursuing its agenda of building temples to dot the land, the news of these temples is not very well-received by those living outside of Utah. Communities as far away as Paris and as close as Colorado are fighting attempts by the church to build a temple in those places. Even a city in Texas is under threat of a lawsuit from the church because the people there don’t want Mormon chapels in their town. All of these stories can be read in the online edition of the Salt Lake Tribune.
The members of the church are also already beginning to do their part with two of the most major wake-up calls for them both dealt with the church’s getting involved in politics: Proposition 8 in California- dealing with homosexuals- and the Utah Compact in Utah- dealing with illegal immigration. Both incidents led multiple members to begin questioning the actions of the leaders simply for their involvement while the leaders’ actions led even more to start questioning and create huge divisions in the membership. Utah state legislators even admitted during the latter incident that the church tells them how to vote on such matters—this creates a legitimate concern for having a Mormon become a political leader as the oaths taken in the temple require him to “follow orders.” Speaking of the temple, the church will brag about how many there are and how many attend the temple in Utah, but temple attendance in the United States outside Utah ranges from abysmal to virtually non-existent. This is merely a sign of just how much the church is bleeding its membership within the US. While working for the church over the past couple of years, I witnessed the annual statistics report shown only to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve: There are approximately 1.9 million full-tithe payers in the church throughout the whole world.
Of course we can’t think the church hasn’t noticed this, because it’s easy to see actions taken by the church to show that the leaders are getting desperate to retain its members and the tithing funds they contribute- even going beyond the “follow the prophet” mantra to the point where the church almost can’t defend its claims that it isn’t a cult. The greatest example of what is told to members is the declaration to only study from church-approved or official church materials with anything not coming from these “approved” sources automatically being branded as “anti,” or “apostate” if written by an ex-member. It’s gotten to the point where people who dare to offer a conflicting view to the church’s “faith promoting” history- like D. Michael Quinn- or those who even disagree with what “the brethren” say- like the September Six- are disfellowshipped or outright ex-communicated (which is of course a mockery to God as only He can truly excommunicate someone from His church). And members are not taught how to refute an intellectual argument; they’re simply taught to reiterate the “follow the prophet” mantra or “bear their testimony” in order to deflect any kind of legitimate questions and avoid discussion or debate (which is branded as “contention”).
Recently the church has increased its stranglehold on what is perhaps the most-ostracized demographic within its membership: the young single adults (YSAs). Because the church stresses marriage so heavily, the YSAs who don’t get married young are the ones who are considered as lazy or failures for not “doing their part” when people are simply just casting judgment on them for circumstances that they can’t control. This hasn’t stopped the leadership from further pressing the YSAs into getting married as the recent organization of all-YSA stakes and wards in Utah was geared towards getting those young members to stop “ward hopping” and just find a spouse in their current ward for the sake of getting married. As a former employee, I learned why they did this: Because missionary efforts are failing around the world, the major source of growth in church membership comes from children born to member families- and these children are taught to grow up to be tithe payers. As a young single adult member approaches the age of thirty, that member becomes less likely to continue to pay tithing unless that member gets married! The YSAs are currently the church’s desperate grab for a cash cow and the leaders recently further tightened their grip by dissolving the Mormon fraternities and sororities at the University of Utah in order to reduce the independence of their members and grant more oversight to local church leaders. More examples of these actions will no doubt occur in the future, but we can look beyond that in order to understand-
What we can Expect: a Return to the pure Truths of the Gospel
While Moroni abridged the Jaredite record, he inserted a brief commentary to tell us to awaken to our awful situation and warn us against the onset of secret combinations that would seek to overthrow the liberty of all nations. Even the church has never been immune from such infiltration and understanding that is part of the key to recognizing the warnings contained in the Book of Mormon in order for us to no longer treat them lightly. Because the Book of Mormon was written to, for, and about us we need to recognize that the church spoken of in 2 Nephi 26-29 and Mormon 8 refers to that “most great and abominable church,” or LDS Inc. In addition to these warnings, the Book of Mormon’s greatest cautions relate to the dangers of secret combinations and the corruption of lawyers and judges.
Despite the overwhelming sense of opposition, the members still hold the true deciding power in all things within the church, as written in D&C 26:2, “And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen”. The church members have an opportunity every general/stake/ward conference to continue to maintain the status quo or to say, “Enough is enough!” and begin the literal fulfillment of D&C 64:38-40. There is no doubt that the leaders must be nervous with October conference approaching and the dissatisfaction of the membership is at an all-time high. If the members don’t vote for a change at this point, there’s nothing to guarantee they won’t at the next April Conference or beyond.
The leaders have every right to fear this change if they don’t repent because the cleansing of the church and the second restoration will follow the Lord’s established pattern of wiping the slate clean and starting over. Examples of this include the wandering of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years to kill off the older generation as well as dealing with numerous uprisings, the sacking of Jerusalem by Babylon after Lehi’s family fled in 600 BC, the destruction of the more wicked part of the Nephites around 280 BC as recorded in Omni, the destruction of the wicked in America at the time of the Savior’s crucifixion, and no doubt many others that I haven’t touched upon. As we live in a type and shadow of the time of King Noah, there is one aspect of that I waited until now to mention: That prophesy also includes one to take upon himself the role of an Alma. Richard G. Scott has done the most to fulfill such an action so far as he has taught in his October 2002 Conference talk that, “each of us needs consistently to repent,” referring to everyone regardless of their rank or position within the church.
One may ask how we can return to the pure teachings during the brief time the church was favored by the Lord and the way to do that is to get back to our roots. When the Lord declared the translation of the Book of Mormon to be correct and when Joseph Smith declared it the most correct of any book on earth, they were both referring to the original 1830 edition of the Book. The key to understanding it is to remember that it was written to, for and about the Lord’s church- those who have repented and been baptized- during the time of the Restoration. Along with the original Book of Mormon, the 1833 Book of Commandments is the best source we have available of the original, unaltered revelations given to Joseph Smith and others during that time- as even the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants contained alterations or re-writes as documented by D. Michael Quinn. The Lord has approved of and blessed these documents as He only specifically approved of the original Book of Mormon—all subsequent editions with their changes are totally unauthorized. Reprints are available from their copyright holders and methods of obtaining them can be found online.
We can also use the Book of Mormon to further confirm the condition of the church today with Lehi and Nephi’s similar dreams as found in 1 Nephi 8 and 11. The great and spacious building represents the prideful LDS church today mocking the truth seekers as I mentioned above. However, those that totally leave the church and get into a hatred of the church and the addictions of the world are the ones found in the muddy waters. Those few who seek and find truth away from LDS Inc. while holding to the word of God as contained in the original Book of Mormon will learn of the restoration of the “plain and precious truth” that Jesus is God the Eternal Father as taught by Amulek, Abinadi, and Moroni in Alma 11:23-40, Mosiah 15:1-5, and Ether 3:14. The 5th Lecture on Faith is the second witness to the Book of Mormon on this matter. Members are not taught that the Book of Mormon prophesied that these plain and precious truths would not only be removed from the Bible, but from the Book of Mormon itself as well.
People may claim that we are living in fearful times, but instead they are fun and exciting as the second restoration will bring about an outpouring of the spirit over the whole world never before seen in history. When the Lord’s church as an entity is once again established, the believers- like the righteous at the time of the resurrected Jesus Christ’s appearance in America- will need to be re-baptized. This will be in order to establish a new covenant under the clean slate to live the spirit of the law and discard the traditions of men that have infiltrated the church in its current state and enter in a life where pure truth reigns above all else. It is not a time to fear but rather one to look forward to more than anything that has ever happened on this earth.
As I have sought truth guided by the Spirit and the scriptures, I believe wholeheartedly that I have found that individual called of God to bring about “much restoration” as prophesied in 2 Nephi 3:24 and D&C 85:7 and why there is a great need for the church to be cleansed. He has been calling the church leaders to repentance since 1995 and their attorneys have called him “the Devil of the Mormon Church”. He considers this a compliment due to the corruption of the LDS church and due to his mission given him during a profound three day Near Death Experience (while in a coma similar to Saul/Paul, and Alma the Younger) preceded by his mother’s three prophetic dreams. He was told that the prophet/king of the LDS Inc. was the type and shadow of King Noah with his 12 High Priests who interpreted the dreams of the people similar to the LDS mantra of “When the Prophet has spoken, the thinking has been done” and “Follow the Prophet; he will never lead you astray”. Through this individual I have learned how important it is to go back to the “plain and precious” truths contained in the original Book of Mormon and Book of Commandments and the genius and simplicity of God- and this is what I’ve done my best in order to share a small piece of what I’ve learned with you readers by writing this post. Anyone can join his team to learn and then to teach simple truths, which is a marvelous “work and a wonder” as prophesied by Isaiah. For anyone interested in learning more about these amazingly simple and profound insights and discarding tradition for truth you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or read more at these websites: www.bridgingtruth.com, www.mormonstruth.org, www.originalbookofmormonrestored.com, www.citiesofpeace.com and www.stopzion.com.